Warning

I sat up, peering into the darkness. Something awoke me and I was certain it wasn’t the storm. A loud clap of thunder wouldn’t stand my hair on end, suddenly alert to the fact I was no longer alone in my bedchamber.

A flash of lightning illuminated the room. Even the furniture appeared menacing in the brief glimpse. But nothing more so than the hulking figure standing by the window.

I was grateful when I spoke that my voice revealed not of my fear. “You were supposed to have destroyed yourself,” I addressed the intruder.

Another flash of lightning revealed a smile that might pass as amused in a face that weren’t so scarred and twisted. In that face, it could only ever be called menacing, whether the intent were there or not.

My brother’s creature was every bit as ugly and horrible as I had been led to believe. And yet, seeing it in the flesh, I found myself oddly calm. Reality always made even the most nightmarish imaginings manageable.

Then the creature spoke, its voice cultured in such away that I might mistake it for a gentleman had I never seen its visage. “Lies are always believable with practice. Promises are easily broken. Your brother and the rest of your kind are very good teachers.”

I could not deny that it had a point. “Why are you here?”

“To warn you,” it said, something like mirth underlying the words.

“About what?” It could be any number of things from pursuing the mystery of my brother to seeking revenge. Clearly the creature valued its existence as it continued to haunt this earth.

“You are not among friends. The enemies your brother made have long memories and desires that did not pass with him.”

“You are the only enemy Victor had, “ I countered. This creature was the only being he feared.

“Victor Frankenstein was…” The creature paused, thoughtful. “Short-sighted. Limited in his perceptions of the surrounding world.”

I wanted to argue, if for no other reason than filial loyalty, but again, I could not disagree with the creature’s assessment.

“You aren’t going to correct my assumptions?” It seemed genuinely surprised.

“My brother was a selfish man. His obsessions blinded him to many things. Your words are not kind but they are the truth,” I said at last. “But why warn me?”

The creature was quiet for a long time. The storm rumbled in the silence.

At last, it said, “We are the all the other has left on this planet. We are…family, and my quarrel was only ever with my maker.”

I found his words difficult to accept considering the corpses that lay in his wake.

Before I found myself able to respond, the creature opted to take its leave. “I wish you no ill will, Ernest Frankenstein. There is no reason you should pay for the sins of your brother.” It opened the window, a chill breeze entering the room. “Be on your guard. Your brother dabbled in dangerous arts, and men of a like mind are willing to go to great lengths to attain the knowledge he did.”

Then it was gone, the only reminder of his presence the lingering chill from outside.

The creature alone was proof positive of just how deadly my brother’s interests ran, and I could understand why others might want such knowledge. But along those lines, wasn’t the creature at far more risk than I?

Destroying Victor’s writings now would do little to ensure my safety. My time to turn back had long since passed. I would have to be more careful in my investigations. And keep a wary eye turned toward the shadows where the creature would likely be watching.